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GARY —The father of a Gary man injured in a fatal traffic wreck earlier this week is suing both drivers and vehicle owners.

Kenneth J. Allen, a Northwest Indiana attorney, filed suit Friday in Lake Superior Court on behalf of 35-year-old Michael Miller.

Allen said Miller suffered brain damage and multiple fractures when a Jason and Michael Trucking LLC semitrailer broadsided a Prompt Ambulance Service medical transportation van taking Miller to the Tradewinds workshop in Merrillville.

Allen said he is seeking a damage award that will help Miller's 72-year-old father, Anderson Miller, care for his son, who has autism, and will likely need care for a long time to come.

Anderson Miller, who attended a news conference Friday set up by Allen, said he would soon be bringing his son home and he is the only one available to care for his son.

Police said the collision took place 5:30 a.m. Tuesday at Fourth Avenue and Rutledge Street in Gary's Ambridge neighborhood.

Police said the impact killed Kathy Flowers, 57, of Gary, a passenger in the Prompt Ambulance medical transportation van. Two others in the van, besides Michael and the truck driver, were also injured.

Allen said Anthony Miranda was driving the semitrailer west on 4th and Thomas Patterson was driving the Prompt vehicle north on Rutledge.

Allen said he believes both drivers bear fault for the accident.

He said there is a stop sign for Rutledge traffic and Patterson should have yielded to the truck.

But Allen directed most of his criticism at Miranda and his employer Jason and Michael Trucking LLC of Lindenwood, Illinois.

Allen said he wants to know why the driver didn't apply his brakes or take evasive action. "Was it lack of training? Was he texting? Was he speeding?"

Jason Chambers, J&M's owner, said, "I don't know why they would be putting a lawsuit against us. It's obvious the (Prompt) guy pulled out in front of my guy."

Gary Miller, of Prompt Ambulance, couldn't be reach Friday afternoon for comment.

The Lake County Sheriff's traffic reconstruction unit and Gary police were investigating the cause of the accident.

Allen said he is asking Superior Court Judge William E. Davis to issue a preliminary injunction Monday to preserve evidence of the investigation, including the truck's black box.

The black box could have recorded whether the brakes were applied and the speed at the time of impact.


Lake County Reporter

Bill has reported in Lake County since 1972 after graduating from Indiana University. He has worked for The Times since 1997, covering the courts and local government during much of his tenure. Born and raised in New Albany, Ind., he is a native Hoosier.